Tracing a new path: the inspiration behind the Palatine mural project
For years, the Hicks Road Underpass Tunnel has been a hotspot for graffiti. Compared to the rest of the trail, with its natural scenery, inviting parks and peaceful atmosphere, this section felt out of place.
A local family wanted to change this. The Palatine Park District hosted last Saturday (June 19) a group of volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to improving this section of the Palatine Trail. The tunnel is located under Hicks Road between the Palatine Library and the Palatine Police Station.
Starting next month, two large-scale murals will be painted on the walls of the tunnel. One depicting a sunset bike ride, something many guests experienced using the path itself. The other, six eyes featuring different skin tones to represent the diversity of the region and country.
Samira Alhosini and her daughter Jasmine, residents and artists of Palatine, set up this project with the help of their family and friends, the skill and motivation to undertake the great project, and the desire to improve Palatine. With the help of a group of volunteers and the local Palatine Home Depot, this idea will come true.
Home Depot heard of Samira’s plan and were inspired to donate all of the materials needed to create a mural that people could enjoy on their walks or bike rides.
According to the mother-daughter duo, they had the project in mind when they walked through the tunnel one day in March earlier this year. It looked like graffiti had been recently painted on the tunnel walls. While there were good chunks of couple names with smiling hearts and faces, there were more than enough negative drawings, curses, and hateful graffiti that made them want to cover it with a positive message.
Samira said she and her daughter were talking about doing good in the world, maybe protesting for causes they both believe in, or volunteering in the community to bring about positive change, but it seemed always have obstacles.
However, when they came up with the idea of ââpainting the tunnel, it seemed much more achievable to them as they are both artists, and everyone they spoke to in the Palatine Park District was extremely helpful and supported l ‘idea. Once they got the green light to execute the project, they started planning and recruiting to make their vision a reality.
âWhen the Black Lives Matter movement started, my daughter Jasmine felt really moved,â Samira said. âI remember her crying after hearing about all the hate crimes against black people in our country. She even drew a few works of art called BLM. So when we started talking about the concept art for our mural, it was very clear that she wanted to incorporate it into the post. “
Samira said her original idea was to paint a sunrise on a wall with silhouettes of bicycles, because a sunrise represents a new beginning or a new beginning.
âMy daughter was inspired by another artist she met at a Halloween store late last year,â Samira said. âThis young female artist was extremely good at drawing eyes, and since then Jasmine has been practicing drawing realistic eyes. Naturally, when I asked Jasmine for her ideas, she said she wanted to paint a giant eye on the other side, with the skin around it divided into different colors. After measuring the tunnel, we realized that one eye was not going to be enough, so we decided to add more eyes.
According to Samira, the eyes represent the original six human races and all show small reflections of the sunrise on the opposite wall. The idea behind it is that no matter who you are or what your skin color is, we all see life the same way and share the same perspective.
âOur message is a message of equality,â she said. “We are all the same, regardless of our background or color, so let’s treat each other accordingly and stop all these heinous crimes against our siblings.”
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